Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread is a great way to break into fall baking. This recipe does not include any mix-ins in the bread (no chocolate chunks, raisins, nuts, etc.), it has the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor, and is topped with a vanilla glaze. It's a perfect dessert or sweet afternoon snack!
Why you'll love this recipe
- This easy recipe takes just 15 minutes to pull together the batter; most of the time is spent baking!
- Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread has a great fall flavor and the glaze adds just enough extra sweetness without being over-the-top.
- This recipe is a great way to use some of your sourdough discard!
- You can freeze Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread to enjoy later.
As long as you have pumpkin purée and sourdough discard, you are well on your way to making this recipe!
- All-purpose flour: Using all-purpose flour gives you a soft, fluffy bread. If you were to use bread flour, your bread would be more crusty.
- Spices: You'll need cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to give this pumpkin bread a quintessential fall flavor.
- Pumpkin purée: You can use store-bought or homemade pumpkin purée.
- Sourdough discard: The sourdough discard should be unfed and at room temperature for this recipe. This recipe is designed to be made with discard from a sourdough starter with a 1:1:1 ratio (when you feed your starter, it's with 1 part starter, 1 part flour, 1 part water). If you use a different ratio, you may need to adjust some of the ingredients in this recipe.
- Powdered sugar: The vanilla glaze is made with powdered sugar.
- Non-dairy milk: I use almond milk to make the vanilla glaze, but you can use any unflavored non-dairy (or dairy) milk.
See full recipe below for detailed directions.
Substitutions & Variations
This is a very adaptable recipe and below are a few easy substitutions and variations you can try.
- Use active sourdough starter - If you want to use active sourdough starter rather than discard, you can. To do so, omit the baking soda as the bread will rise from the yeast in the sourdough starter.
- Add chocolate chunks - Try my recipe for Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bread for a version that includes chocolate chunks!
- Add walnuts: Add ½ cup chopped walnuts to the batter after mixing in the dry ingredients.
- Add raisins: Add ½ cup raisins to the batter after you mix in the dry ingredients.
- Omit the glaze - If you want a less sweet version, you can omit the vanilla glaze.
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
How to make Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread
This is an easy recipe that requires no rise time and comes together in a few simple steps!
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the granulated and dark brown sugars, pumpkin purée, sourdough discard, vegetable oil, and egg. Whisk until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour the batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan that has been greased and lined with parchment paper.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool fully before adding the glaze.
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and non-dairy milk. Use more milk if you prefer a thinner glaze.
Slowly pour the glaze on top of the cooled loaf.
Slice and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Make sure there are no lumps in the flour mixture. When mixing the flour and spices together, it's a great time to whisk out any lumps!
- Mix together the wet ingredients thoroughly. Give it a good whisk and the ingredients will all come together smoothly!
- The parchment paper in the baking pan helps make it easier to take the loaf out of the pan. You can skip this if you prefer!
- Bake the bread until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Then let it cool fully before adding the glaze.
- If you pour the glaze before the loaf has cooled, it will completely melt off of the bread.
- Make the glaze thicker than you think. You can always add more milk to thin the glaze, but it's much harder to add more sugar to thicken it!
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is what is left over after you feed your sourdough starter. You can either literally discard it (throw it away or compost it), or you can use it in sourdough discard recipes like this one.
Even though we're using sourdough discard, we do also need to use a leaving agent (in this case, baking soda) to make the dough rise predictably. Don't worry, the bread will still have that sourdough tang!
Room Temperature Storage: Store this bread in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can reheat the bread in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it warm and soft again.
Freezer Storage: Ensure the bread has cooled fully, then store in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can freeze individual slices or the full loaf. When you're ready to eat it, let the loaf thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can reheat individual slices in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make them warm and soft again.
This recipe is designed to be made with sourdough discard. You could also use active sourdough starter and omit the baking soda, if you prefer.
Check out my recipe for Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bread for a version of this recipe that uses chocolate chunks.
You can use either store-bought or homemade pumpkin purée for this recipe. For storebought, I like to use Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin.
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread
For the Bread
- 1 ¼ cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 egg room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup (about 200 grams) sourdough discard unfed, at room temperature
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons unflavored non-dairy milk or regular dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the granulated and brown sugars, pumpkin purée, sourdough discard, vegetable oil, and egg. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 60 minutes, then tent loosely with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then remove the loaf from the pan (you can lift it up with the parchment paper) and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for at least an hour.
- While the bread cools, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and non-dairy milk*. Start with 1 Tablespoon and add more milk as needed to reach your desired glaze consistency. Pour the glaze over the loaf to coat, then slice and enjoy!